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jobs,” Danenhower said. Once on the job, she and Bartolomeoli-Cosgrove were required to take the standard first aid course.

“We were told we’d be dealing mainly with minor strains and cuts, but more serious situations can arise, such as injuries from chain saws,” Bartolomeoli-Cosgrove said. “In the past there’s been first aid attendants on the team. They’ve also been listed in the centre’s internal phone book,” Johnstone said.

To become the successful applicants, the two women had to undergo a rigorous selection process, starting with completing an online application form. “The people at WorkZone helped me learn how to do an online application,” Bartolomeoli- Cosgrove said.

Applicants who passed the initial screening were given a written test and those who scored highest were invited for in-person interviews.

“We were looking for competency and knowledge,” Johnstone said. Currently, there are nine

permanent field services employees and three vacancies. There are three specified positions — irrigation manager, crop protection manager and herbicide and ground cover manager.

“Each of the managers has people working for them,” Johnston said. “Several retirements are coming up in the near future, which means opportunities for advancement,” said Bartolomeoli-Cosgrove. There are approximately 150 year-round employees at the centre, with the number increasing to 200 in the summer.

Field services hires one to four summer students, depending on the budget.

Johnstone joined field services in 1988 and became manager two years ago.

Field service personnel are responsible for 324 hectares, which

include open rangeland, a small virus orchard and entomology orchard located some distance from the main site, and experimental plantings in close proximity to the research and administrative building.

Approximately 20 hectares are planted in cherries and apples, and plots of 1.5 hectares and less planted in a wide variety of crops such as soft fruits, grapes, strawberries and asparagus. Especially small plots in the range of 0.1-0.2 ha are part of the minor use pesticide program. “The Summerland Varieties Corporation’s 8 ha budwood orchard is separate, but we supply the water and share the field services building,” Johnstone said. Bartolomeoli-Cosgrove and Danenhower nodded in agreement when Johnstone said, “It’s a wonderful job — great people and important research.”


British Columbia FRUIT GROWER • Spring 2016

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